Propulsion Engine Test Responsible Engineer

  • Full Time
  • USA
  • Posted 4 months ago
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State

Company Details

The Premier Dedicated Small Satellite Launch Service

Who we are

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination.

Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member of our team to serve as a Propulsion Engine Test Responsible Engineer. If you join us in this position, the primary role of involves testing rocket engine hardware from development engines through acceptance for flight. The ideal candidate would be a generalist with both component and systems level experience with liquid rocket engines, fluid handling, vehicle stages and systems, operations, sensors and instrumentation. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket test facility in beautiful Mojave, California.

Your Mission

  • Plan and execute rocket engine development and acceptance tests including operation on console as Responsible Engineer (RE) of test article
  • Drive engine power balance to anchor test data and forward predict test setups
  • Analysis and interpretation of test and flight data
  • Manage test results, hardware configuration logs, and coordination of development activities with other departments
  • Create and maintain plumbing and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)
  • Make development decisions based on technical merit, cost, and schedule metrics
  • Coordinate interdisciplinary projects that impact functional groups across the program
  • Communicate results verbally and through written reports
  • Constantly learn new things and share them with your team members

What you bring


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant discipline (engineering, physics, chemistry, or similar)
  • Knowledge of typical aerospace materials and hardware
  • Mastery of fluids and structural principles relevant to testing rocket engine hardware
  • Problem solving capability ranging from first principals and hand calculations through detailed analytical modeling
  • Experience with evaluation of rocket engine data, data post-processing, and comparison to models and physical principles
  • Experience with some of the relevant software used in the aerospace industry, such as NX, ANSYS, Matlab, ROCETS, and GFSSP
  • Familiarity with industry standards and specifications from SMC, NASA, ASTM, AMS, etc.
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Must be comfortable working projects with lots of moving pieces
  • Capability of solving complex problems with little-to-no supervision, on schedule, as an individual or as leader of an integrated team
  • Periodically travel 2 to 3 weeks at a time to government owned rocket engine test facilities in Alabama and Mississippi
  • Can travel 10 to 15% time to facility in Long Beach, Ca
  • Is excited to join a team where we check our ego at the door and partake in the common pursuit of developing the most awesome air-launched rocket engines in the industry

Preferred Attributes

  • Educational background in liquid rocket engines
  • Experience with pump fed liquid rocket engine analysis
  • Experience with rocket turbomachinery performance parameters
  • Experience with liquid rocket engine combustion device data evaluation
  • Experience with instrumentation, data collection, and their impacts on performance calculations
  • Experience with typical liquid rocket propellant behavior, including cryogenic fluids


ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men.


Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Tagged as: Matlab, ansys, NX, rocets, test and flight data analysis. plumbing and instrumentation diagrams, testing rocket engine hardware, and gfssp

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